It is not just Toshihide himself who is heavily invested in martial arts, but his family as a whole. Karate-do has been a tradition that has spanned generations. Though many karate-ka and many dojos claim lineage in one way or another, the Uchiage family has a very short, direct connection to the founder of Goju-Ryu Karate-do, Chojun Miyagi.
Toshihide’s grandfather, Kenzo Uchiage was one of Mr. Miyagi’s original students, having training under the founder of the style while attending Ritsumeikan University in 1937. After four years of training under Mr. Miyagi, he was selected to captain Ritsumeikan University’s karate team. Near the end of his career, Kenzo Uchiage who held a 9th Dan in the Japan Karate-Do Federation, was a director of the All Japan National Team, was the only individual in Karate to be elected to the Nippon Budokan Budo Koroh-Sho (Japan Martial Arts Award) in 1987.
Toshihide’s father, Takeshi Uchiage, was also a proficient athlete and coach. In 1971, he became the coach of the Tenri University Karate-Do team and a technical counselor for the Taiiku-kai Karate-Do team of the Osaka Keizai University. He was also an active W.U.K.O (now W.K.F) kata and kumite judge. He is currently the chairman of the Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Uchiage-Kai, Chief of the Technical Committee of Osaka Keizai University Taiiku-Kai Karate Club, and holds the rank of 7th Dan from the Japan Karate-do Federation.
Many prominent Karate athletes have learned Karate from their fathers, who’ve learned it form their fathers. What is unique about the Uchiage family, is that Toshihide’s mother, Kayoko Uchiage is also a highly experienced and acclaimed Karate-ka. Kayoko Uchaige was a member of the National Team of Japan. She was also acclaimed to the rank of 6th Dan by the Japan Karate-do Federation, the highest rank to have ever been awarded to a woman.
Sumi and Hidemi Uchiage
Toshihide’s sisters, Sumi and Hidemi are also prominent Karate athletes. Both are on the Canadian national team, and frequently alternate positions as the Canadian women’s national Kata champions. Recently, Hidemi won Silver in Kumite and Bronze in Team Kumite, while Sumi won Gold in Kata at the 2013 Commonwealth Championships.